The skin goes through a lot of changes in pregnancy. While there are some things dermatologists recommend avoiding, there are plenty of options to take care of your skin while waiting for your little one’s arrival.
To-Do at Home
Cleanse gently to remove excess oil and skin with:
- – Purifying Gel Cleanser by AlumierMD. Best for: combination skin.
- – Antioxidant Cleanser by McNeill Dermatology. Best for: redness.
- – Gentle Cleanser by Priori. Best for: acne-prone skin.
Guard against damage with antioxidants. Opt for a serum rich in Vitamin C or green tea polyphenols to protect against free-radical damage such as:
- – Ever Active C&E Serum by AlumierMD. Best for: pigmentation.
- – Daily Antioxidant Cream by McNeill Dermatology. Best for: redness.
Fight pigmentation. Some women experience a condition known as melasma characterized by flat dark patches on the face during pregnancy in response to hormonal fluctuations. Read labels carefully to avoid ingredients not safe for use while pregnant or breast-feeding such as hydroquinone and retinoids. Instead, reach for one of the following with pregnancy-friendly pigment-busting agents:
- – Intellibright by AlumierMD. Pigment-buster: kojic acid.
- – Illumination Treatment by Priori. Pigment-buster: colorless turmeric extract.
- – Lytera by SkinMedica. Pigment-buster: tranexamic acid.
Restore moisture to repair the skin barrier. Many women find their skin gets drier in pregnancy due to increased levels of the pregnancy-related hormone, progesterone.
- – Hydra Calm by AlumierMD. Best for: redness and sensitive skin.
- – Tolerance by Avene. Best for: acne-prone skin.
- – Deep Hydrator by McNeill Dermatology. Best for: severe dryness.
Favorites for Night:
For those who are really dry, consider layering:
1.A hydrating hyaluronic acid-containing serum like:
- – HA5 by SkinMedica
- – Smooth Skin HA by McNeill Dermatology
- – Ultimate Boost by AlumierMD
2. Under a rich moisturizer:
- – Intensive Repair Night by McNeill Dermatology. Best for: anti-aging.
- – Hydra Rich by AlumierMD. Best for: sensitivity and redness.
- – Barrier Repair by Priori. Best for: acne-prone skin.
- – Cicalfate by Avene. Best for: severe dryness.
Protect with a mineral-based sunscreen containing zinc and/or titanium dioxide and an SPF with a rating of 30 or higher.
- – Sheer Hydration by AlumierMD. Best for: dry skin.
- – Clear Shield by AlumierMD. Best for: acne-prone skin.
- – Tetra by Priori. Best: tinted.
- – Eryfotona Actinica by ISDN. Best for: those with a skin-cancer history.
The best way to get a pregnancy-safe glow going is by using gentle exfoliation with an alpha hydroxy acid containing serum or mild scrub. When starting one of the following treatments, go slow and start every-other-night or once a week if you are very sensitive. The skin may sting for 1-3 minutes with the first 2-3 uses.
- – AHA Renewal Serum by AlumierMD. Best: all-around. Safe for sensitive skin.
- – Glycolic Brightener by McNeill Dermatology. Best for: oily skin.
- – Peel & Scrub by Priori. Best for: use in the shower to banish the small bumps on the arms/legs known as keratosis pilaris or as a 1-3 times weekly rinse-off mask for extra-radiant skin.
To-Do in Office
Glytone Mandelic Acid Peel
Best for: Redness and inflammation
How often? Once a month for 4 (or more!) months.
Results: This gentle peel leaves the skin feeling soft and refreshed.
Downtime: 0-1 day of mild redness. There is little to no actual peeling of the skin.
Addresses: Dull, dry skin.
Approved serums: Vitamin C or Brightening
How often? Gentle enough for every-other-week, but once a month will keep the skin soft and glowing.
Results: Dewy, clean skin.
Downtime: None. This treatment was designed to give event-ready skin and can be performed even the day before you need to be photo-ready.
What to Avoid
High-strength Salicylic Acid (>2%)
Onabotulinum toxin (Botox, etc.)
Anything that causes unnecessary pain.
- Why? Pain increases the production of the stress-hormone, cortisol, which increases the risk for spontaneous abortion. So, I recommend scheduling uncomfortable elective procedures such as laser hair removal, to be done in advance of pregnancy or after delivery.